With the recent off-field issues regarding San Francisco 49ers OLB Aldon Smith, there is no question the Niners are now looking for depth at the outside linebacker position. Smith who in all likelihood will be suspended by the NFL for at least the first four games of the 2014 season opens the door for last year’s third-round pick (No. 88) OLB Corey Lemonier. However, the 49ers will need more depth especially since they play a 3-4 scheme, making former Boise State product OLB Demarcus Lawrence an ideal candidate.
The 49ers have been high on Lawrence well before the LAX incident last week. In fact, 49ers Western Regional Scout Reggie Cobb was on hand for Lawrence’s pro day on March 17. And with Lawrence scheduled for a pre-draft visit in the coming days, his stock may have risen despite being suspended three times during his tenure at Boise State.
However, the question remains why are the 49ers so high on him? Well, like Lemonier, Lawrence has the elongated wingspan that GM Trent Baalke covets as Lawrence has 33 5/8-inch arms. And with his hand size at a massive 11-inches, Lawrence would be a perfect complement to OLB Ahmad Brooks as a pass-rush specialist.
If the 49ers stay at pick No. 30 do not be surprised if they draft Lawrence as he has the skill-set to be a solid starter at the next level. However, with red flags and numerous suspensions, the question remains will Baalke gamble on another premier pass-rusher with a troubled past? Time will tell.